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Worldwide spending on telecom and pay-TV services is forecast to reach nearly $1.7 billion in 2017, an increase of 1.7% over 2016, and will grow 2% year-over-year in 2018, according to market analyst IDC.

In its latest tracker report of the two markets, IDC found mobile to be the largest segment of the telco market, representing 52% of the total business in 2017. The sector is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% over the 2017-2021 forecast period, driven by the growth in mobile data usage and M2M applications, which is offsetting declines in spending on mobile voice and messaging services. Fixed data service spending represents 21% of the total market in 2017, and this is set to grow by a CAGR of 4% driven by the need for higher bandwidth services.

By contrast, the pay-TV services market β€” encompassing cable, satellite, Internet protocol (IP) and digital terrestrial TV services β€” is set to remain flat over the five-year forecast period. However, IDC believes that these services are an increasingly important part of the multi-play offerings of telecom providers across the world. Spending on multi-play services is forecast to increase by 9% in 2017 and by 7% in 2018.

On a geographic basis, the Americas will be the largest services market with revenues of $635 billion in 2017, driven by the large North American sector. Asia Pacific will be the second largest region, followed by EMEA. The markets with the fastest year-over-year growth in 2017 will mainly be the emerging markets of Asia Pacific, followed by EMEA.

β€œThe steady growth in the worldwide telecom market is driven by the need for IP services and higher bandwidth services, which are more than offsetting declining legacy telecom services,” said Courtney Munroe, group vice president, worldwide telecommunications research at IDC.
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